SHARETRAILS.ORG/BLUERIBBON COALITION MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Don Amador, 925-783-1834
Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition Restates Position Denouncing Unlawful Behavior
NEVADA CITY, CA (May 29, 2018) — Recent media reports suggest a planning effort in the Tahoe National Forest to designate trails and areas for snowmobile use has turned “ugly” based on the actions of a few participants. According to a story in the Reno Gazette Journal, some individuals have allegedly issued slurs or threatened violence against non-motorized advocates, such as threatening to “beat” people who oppose designations for continuing snowmobile use on the Forest. The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org (BRC) denounces such actions and reminds enthusiasts how to properly conduct public lands advocacy.
“We are saddened by this behavior and stand strongly against it,” announced Don Amador, BRC Western Representative. “We understand the frustration that can occur when users face possible closure of important and historic recreation opportunities, but threats and potentially unlawful ‘direct action’ are never the right response. BRC adopted a formal policy position in 2014 touching on this subject,” Amador noted. That policy states that BRC exists “to channel frustration with the status quo through skillful, strategic efforts within the bounds of the law in administrative, legislative, judicial and media channels. BRC neither participates in nor condones knowingly unlawful activity of any kind.” BRC’s policies can be viewed at https://sharetrails.org/policies-positions/.
The Tahoe designation process has been years in the making, responding in part to settlement of a lawsuit entitled Snowlands Network v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. 2:11-cv-2921-MCE (E.D. Cal.). BRC was a defendant-intervenor in that case, defending managed snowmobile access alongside the Forest Service. The settlement agreement provided an opportunity for both motorized and non-motorized use advocates to submit alternatives to be considered by the Forest Service in the designation process. BRC did submit an alternative and has vigorously participated in the ongoing process on the Tahoe and other California Forests, including submitting formal comments today on the Tahoe Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
“We have decades of experience in this arena, providing informed input, collaborating with agency staff and other stakeholders, and as litigants defending the good agency decisions and challenging the bad,” said Amador. “We urge interested participants to remain engaged, respect fellow public land users, and channel whatever support they deem proper to experienced professionals.”
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The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.Org is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. https://sharetrails.org